Mass. seeks pool safety steps after drowning probe
FALL RIVER, Mass. (WHDH) -- The final report was released in the wake of the drowning of a woman in a Fall River pool last summer.
Officials are planning to do more to make sure this never happens again.
“Collectively our hearts are broken over this incident. We certainly want to try to use the incident to do the best we can as an agency going forward,” said DCR Commissioner Ed Lambert.
Marie Joseph's body went unnoticed at the bottom of the murky pool for two days, which led to the investigation and review.
Many changes are coming to the Fall River pool. The deep end will be reduced from 12 feet to 5.5 feet. The change will eventually happen at all 24 DCR pools.
Officials said they will also not be opening the slides at the stat-run pools this summer. Lambert says while the pool's slide did not appear to be a direct factor in the death, the state will close the slides until a national safety study is completed.
Staff members at the pool will conduct visibility tests several times a day. Special disks will be dropped to the bottom of the pool -- if they can’t be scene from the deck, the pool will be closed.
“We have a responsibility to insure that our pools are safe when we open them,” said Lambert. “We think that based on this report there was no evidence that these factors were in play at any other pool.”
Each DCR pool will have 10 lifeguards and additional staff training time.
These decisions follow a 10-month review of policies and procedures that began after Joseph’s drowning last June.